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Appleton, WI Coffee shop showcases patients’ artwork, reduces stigma

11/15/17 04:46:pm
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Acoca Coffee shop has developed a relationship with Rogers–Appleton and puts patient artwork on display, helping to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, according to experiential therapist Michelle Barth.

“Through this artistic expression, the stigma of mental illness is brought to light, and when we bring it to light, it cannot survive,” Michelle says.

Patients are given full control over whether or not they want their art displayed and have the ability to change their minds at any time. Each piece of art is accompanied by an artist’s statement, which is exhibited anonymously along with the artwork. The current artwork on display comes from two PTSD patients. The previous featured artwork was also created by a PTSD patient who had graduated from the program. 

The coffee shop first began featuring patient artwork in May 2016, and Michelle brings new pieces to put up every two months or so.

Artist’s Statement for previous featured artwork:

To the viewer: 

My name is Teddy, and I live alone in this crib. I have been here a very long time. The young woman who put me here hasn’t been back in a very long time. Once she did come back to close the shades and lock the door. I wanted to ask her why I was alone, why the shades were drawn and the room darkened, she left too quickly and her tears were too big to see her eyes so I thought some sorrow just shouldn’t be spoken about.

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